The Genius in Not Being Normal - Sage Hill Counseling

“There is no great genius without some touch of madness.”Seneca 

The more normal you try to be (or the more like others you try to parrot) the less of you we will see. You move away from your personal genius when you strive to be normal, to not have to risk your neck with some dream, idea, or stroke of genius.

But “normal” is depressing. Normal is the path of no resistance. Not least resistance, no resistance.

Yet more and more people are looking for the supposed feel-good nature of being “normal.”

We let others define what normal is, then jump on the bandwagon to feel accepted or part of the team.

But you’re not accepted or connected. Instead, you act as a drone that parrots what you think others want to hear, or what you think others value as popular or normal.

The problem is, normal doesn’t feel good for long. It’s cheap. Like plastic forks. Good for the occasional use, but if you rely on it for too long — it’ll break. It’ll let you down.

And then you’ll try another version of normal. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Trying to be normal is really about a misguided search for meaning.

For purpose and for life.

Normal is a death to your soul and to the creative part of you that only you know, that only you see, and that only you choose to hide or show.

Trying to be normal is self-rejection. It’s death.

It’s crazy to enter into and commit oneself to another person for life…

It’s even crazier to become parents. Yet my wife and I put aside statistics and conventional wisdom to follow our hearts into one of the scariest, most dangerous, and landmine-filled areas of life called marriage.

Over 50% of marriages fail today. Yet people still get married.

Why? Because they’re in love. Because their heart believes that they cannot go on without the other person. That, my friends, is madness.

Ignoring logic and going with your heart is madness.

And yet it’s also genius. Pure, creative genius. Picasso wasn’t a genius because of what he painted, he was a genius for when and how he painted.

The same is true for you. You’re not a genius for what idea you come up with, or what decision you make. You’re a genius for taking the risk to fulfill your dream. In putting your neck on the line and risking being called a fool.

And trust me — those who will call you a fool are envious, because they’re normal, and you’re not.


Samuel is a licensed counselor, therapist, coach, author, and teacher who serves as the Clinical Director of Sage Hill Counseling Brentwood. In couples work, he helps to identify negative patterns of relating and help to construct new relational styles built upon honesty and vulnerability. To schedule a couple’s session with Samuel, email

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